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Archaeology of Posthumanism

Tracing Path from Early Modern Humanism to Posthumanism

Larry Butz

on 20 March 2013

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Transcript of Archaeology of Posthumanism

Descartes's Mechanism Disembodiment Archeaology Mechanism Bodies Today Matter
No Void
All action the result of
particle-on-particle contact. The Product Descartes's Metaphysics Three Substances
1. God (Essence is perfection)
2. Mind (Essence is thought)
3. Matter (Essence is spatial extension)
No Vital Substance or Principle Brain as information processing system
Consciousness as epiphenomenal
-> "user illusion" -Dennett
Consciousness circuitry. Information flows.
Form or structure important. Any material will do. It's all blah. "Dumb Matter". Posthuman Subject Machinic
No Soul, No Mind. Remember, Human Substance.
Instinct and Memory are mechanical.
"Animal spirits" in nervous system.
Humans are animal body + mind.
Mind and body interact, but no idea how. Pineal gland, but how does contact work? God? Mechanical Causes of
Plants and Animals Bodies as containers for information, code, or systems.

Self almost synonymous with Mind.

What is the role of material? Erasure of Embodiment Body as First Prosthesis Transhumanism Building Archaeology here from Foucault in
The Order of Things (1966/70)
Zaccharias and Hans Janssen in 1590
Galileo in 1609
Bacon (1561–1626, observation, and physical sciences Birth of the Sciences of Life Resources A Reaction, or a New Episteme? "[If] in the eighteenth century...biology did not exist...there was a very simple reason for it: that life itself did not exist. All that existed was living beings, which were viewed through a grid of knowledge constituted by natural history."
"The naturalist is the man concerned with the structure of the visible world and its denomination according to characters. Not with life."
Even though Anton van Leeuwenhoek saw in 1674 cells of the algae Spirogyra under a microscope, not until Kant reverses Hume's causality does Life escape from Natural History.
-Foucault, The Order of Things In Descartes: General physical and metaphysical principles derived from pure intellect.

Hobbes: Geometric world is abstract. Physical is real and existent. But the abstract is true because based on general principles, and physical is hypothetical.

Spinoza: One substance. Not mechanist. Not anthropocentric. "Bio-" "Life In Itself" -Thacker
General theories of cells
Theories of organs and body-components
Systems and Cybernetics
Foucault. Life as knowledge. Other knowledges persist. Natural history, biology, physics, chemistry, etc. (DNA discovery by Watson and Crick)
General Theory of Sciences - Macy Conferences
Autopoiesis - Maturana and Varela
Consciousness itself. Modeling methods. Neo-Vitalism Unique Properties of Synapses? Plant Personhood? Hobbes's Distinction between Geometry and Physics, abstract and real Hyper-realism Speculative realism OOO New Materialism Dumb Matter: (An)Archaeology of Blah http://www.ibiblio.org/nmediac/summer2003/intamacy/borg.jpg
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